University of Lethbridge’s popular Play Day returning as in-person Family Day community event

Play Day is officially back — welcome to the jungle!

The University of Lethbridge will once again host an in-person Play Day community event on Family Day this year, the first time families have been able to gather and enjoy the free festival of play since 2020. Presented by North & Company LLP Law Offices, Play Day takes place Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness.

Initiated in 2012, Play Day has turned into a Family Day tradition, bringing together families from throughout southern Alberta. In recent years, the University has had to hold the event virtually (2021) or cancel it altogether due to public safety measures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s theme — the jungle!

“When we started this as a pilot project over 10 years ago, I’m not sure anybody knew what to expect,” says Dr. Mike Mahon, ULethbridge president and vice-chancellor, the driving force behind the initial event. “The goal was simple — provide an opportunity for families to get together and just spend time playing. In today’s world, there are so few chances for families to be present with one another and just have some fun. I’m proud we’ve been able to present this to our community over the years.”

In 2019, North & Company jumped on board as a presenting sponsor. With more than half of their partners and associates having graduated from the U of L, they have built their practice in the Lethbridge community, while providing services to branch offices in Blairmore, Bow Island, Claresholm, Coaldale, High River, Milk River, Picture Butte, Pincher Creek, Taber, Vulcan and Warner.

“This event is a perfect fit for us and one we’re proud to support,” says Kerry Gellrich (BA '06), partner with North & Company LLP Law Offices. “We are a family-oriented legal firm and Play Day is all about celebrating family and the value of community and togetherness. We’re thrilled to be back in person again and can’t wait to play in the jungle!”

The jungle theme will permeate a full slate of activities spread throughout the 1st Choice Savings Centre. These include the massive cardboard fort building area (led by the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association), swimming in the Max Bell Regional Aquatic Centre, access to the Ascent Climbing Centre’s climbing walls, gym activities like basketball and soccer, a host of scientific discovery areas, face painting stations and $5 meal packs to energize the whole family.

The call for volunteers has also begun, with positions from setup to face painting, food zone support and cleanup all available. Those looking to help with Play Day 2023 can sign up here.